May The Fourth Be With You
“In a few words, what is your happiest memory?”
“Wow, what a question … one l have struggled with for most of my life to answer properly. I have lots of times which bring back moments of happiness, to pin point just one would be very hard. In truth, l am not sure if l can answer this question.”
When Josh of The Jaguar and it’s Allies asked this question of me alongside his other nominee’s in the Liebster Award Nomination l was admittedly truly stumped. I like questions in these nominations that deviate from the usual and the mundane which is why l always try and offer a bit of fun and some challenge when asking my own nominee’s questions. Something that makes’ people think.
Of course every person answering will answer reflectively on their own life; there is no specific common denominator between us. Sure we can share similarities and be familiar with each other on other grounds. But each person’s journey is different to the next.
But this question stumped me then, and has continued to stump me since then. After l had answered the question, l went onto think of it for some time after and with honesty, even today as l write this post, l am still trying to answer that question.
What defines your happiest memory?
Of course, perhaps we have to look even deeper than that question, What Defines Happiness? When you Google, it comes back with “Happiness” the state of being happy. – Well gees l am glad we cleared that up!
But still none the wiser!?
Further study reveals:
“contentment, pleasure, contentedness, satisfaction, cheerfulness, cheeriness, merriment, merriness, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joyousness, joviality, jollity, jolliness, glee, blitheness, carefreeness, gladness, delight, good spirits, high spirits, light-heartedness, good cheer, well-being, enjoyment, felicity.”
Ok, so happiness is a combination of the above.
Well, l certainly feel a lot of those on a relatively regular basis, but is that happy? Being happy l feel is a very personal emotion and something that many people perhaps take in their stride. It’s not something we generally need a definition of in many respects, we just know we are happy when we feel we are happy. It’s a level of if anything, feeling positive about oneself, taking into consideration the ‘in the moment’ feelings of contentment and maybe even gratitude.
The question stumped me so much, that later that day whilst walking Scrappy, l asked Suze could she define one of her happiest moments on a singular level. She too answered in a similar state of mind as l had, that in truth she could depict certain times when she had felt happiness, that if anything happiness was not so much a case of one particular moment but a combination of moments that made up the general term of happiness, but in a similar vein to experiencing perfection, it was glancing moments of clarity.
But no, she couldn’t specifically place her finger on one happy memory that was any higher or lower than other happy moments.
Is perhaps the term ‘happy’ the right phrase here? We live in a world that is very demanding and time consuming on our emotions, our wellbeing and eats into our mindfulness. Happiness is fleeting in many cases, like said perfection – there is of course no such thing as the perfect human being, but is there such a thing as the happiest human being, one that can maintain and sustain happiness each and every day, day in and day out?
Is it simply a case of maybe not being able to recognise being happy in today’s world? That we as a nation filled with daily worries and anxieties, stresses and concerns that we have become immune to being and more importantly seeing and comprehending happiness as a long term effect? Is it more of a lean of being content with one’s life, and accepting the fact that we will experience happiness throughout our lives, but we are never going to achieve total happiness for ever after?
Does the definition of happiness even resonate with us nowadays? Is it compatible with how we lead our lives? Are we just to work towards achieving a level of contentment and anything after that that flits in and out as joyous as being the ‘happy moment?’
Are we to take into consideration perhaps how we live our lives, as in are we living our lives properly for our own health? I mean being healthy has certainly got to be a major factor into becoming one with more happiness. When life is good are we happy or are we merely content that for the moment we are not miserable, anxious, stressed, worn out mentally and physically and having to continually worry about our lives?
Do we take into consideration also, our self-worth, our confidences or lack of it, whether we serve any meaningful purpose, that we are achieving our goals or established targets, our life goals?
Does money pay a huge factor into being happier? I mean do the wealthy have happier lives with no worries? Certainly they may not suffer from money worries, but there must be other worries they have and have to face daily?
Was life happier for those 100 years ago, when there was less concern than we face today, or 200 years ago, 300? By all accounts and my studies and knowledge of history, happiness seemed to be a far cry and a further goal to attain and sustain than today. Life is easier these days, despite what many people believe, but how many people are truly happy on a regular basis?
I think, and if you are reading this with the thought that there is an answer to an age old question, then continue to think that, because it isn’t here, that there is no singular answer certainly not from me, not today.
That happiness is a combination of yes the words listed above, but when our lives come together on a positive level, it is then that we experience various waves of happiness, when the negative forces that makes up our life are pushed about by optimistic purpose, high confidence, mindfulness and a strong sense of mental awareness and calmness, it is then that we can start to experience happiness for however long those moments of euphoria are with us – that the positivity enforces and reinforces our own sense of goodwill to our being.
Good Question Josh, l still don’t know the answer, perhaps others will.